Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Four:

Case File No. 14-170

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AMBER LOVE 17-AUG-2020 Find out how all this began. Catch up on Year One, Year Two, and Year Three cases at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency. Thank you for all your financial and social support! Oliver and Gus are looking forward to bringing you more fascinating discoveries and investigations into the chipmunk mafia, the blue jay gang, the neighborhood critters, and cryptid sightings.

This work is supported by the generous backers who adore my cat stories at Patreon.com/amberunmasked and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast. For a one-time tip, you can go to the new PayPal.me.


Where We Left Off:

The Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency biographer posted photo and video updates of the Jersey devil-deer skeleton cleaning process.


Whispering Footsteps:

It’s been an abundant summer for watching wildlife over here in New Jersey. Perhaps, COVID-19 quarantine was the best thing for the environment. Sad, but honest. The Cook has been having a great time watching the squirrels now that there’s a feeder right outside her doors. The feeder in the front has gotten the most variety of birds maybe because the squirrels have to work extra hard to reach it through acrobatics. The fairy garden has two chipmunks, a resident squirrel in the pine tree, and a frequently visiting juvenile wolpertinger. The little wolpertinger kits are so freaking fast! I can’t seem to get their photos. I accidentally disturb them when I have no idea there’s one around me.

bunny wolpertinger Gus

I’m almost always taking photos across long distances. The pictures are always blurry. I hardly ever bother taking my binoculars out anymore since the little zoom lens for my phone usually gets me a visual good enough for me to see what I’m looking at. I keep considering a big purchase of a DSLR kit. I feel so much anxiety over spending money on anything like that. As long as people are okay with reading our case files with blurry photos, I guess it’s fine.

bunny rabbit wolpertinger

New Taxonomy?

The reason I now have a question about whether there is a new species of wolpertingers is because I can’t be one hundred percent certain that all the ones shown here had wings or not. Something I’ve noticed in observing the birds is how tight against their body their wings become when they’re perched. Their bodies look smooth with legs. There are also other factors like the angle of observation, lighting, and the mood of the critter. They might be in a state where being a little showy isn’t necessary.

bunny wolpertinger Gus

I got two excellent pictures showing all the features of the largest bunny rabbit creature that Gus and I were able to get closer to than others. Still had to use the zoom lens; and one picture was shot from inside the house through a window. You can see there’s a wing closed tightly against the body, the antlers, and fangs. Mostly, it seems all the rabbit creatures have been enjoying the neighbor’s mini orchard which is (uselessly) fenced. The rabbit creatures go right through it.

collage of bunny rabbit wolpertingers

In some cases, the wolpertinger wings, fangs, and antlers are not visible. I get to enjoy looking at Gus’ fangs every day and they’re so cute. Maybe I should start #fridayfangs on Instagram.

Gus in bed

One day there was some leftover butter lettuce — the little bit that makes up the core. Since our friend Drew mentioned that her ducks love lettuce, I thought the critters up here might like it too. I was surprised it sat there in the grass for a couple days and I still don’t know if anyone ate it or if it got mowed over.

bunny wolpertinger Gus

Gus has chased a couple wolpertingers this season. Unfortunately, he did capture a baby wolpertinger of the wingless variety and tried to bring it home. I’m glad he had the instinct to go home and ask The Cook to prepare it for him, BUT it was fortunately still alive and I was able to take it away from him. The little creature was squirming so much. I had a difficult time holding it, but it was important to me that I try my best to release it close to where Gus found it which was under the mobile command unit.

Expand for Content Showing Gus Capture the Bunny

On the one hand, I felt bad that I took it away from him because he was so proud and he does eat canned rabbit at every meal. On the other hand, I don’t butcher those rabbits to feed to him and I appreciate that the population here finally rebounded.

 

I still remember how wild it was when we first started being adventurers and Gus found the nest of kits hidden under the grass. That was so magical! The poor babies were terrified though so I felt guilty.

bunny wolpertinger Gus

Healthier and Happier Critters

This year’s adult wolpertingers are of substantial size. They must be getting all the nutrients they need to thrive and be healthy. It’s odd how there were years when we didn’t see more than a couple sightings.

collage of bunny butts

Theory #1:

Since the tragic fire of one of the neighbors’ houses, they haven’t been able to live here. Their new house is being built. Meanwhile, the humans and their dogs aren’t here. The construction crews have been for the last month, but that’s new. The dogs used to stay in half the yard where it was fenced in. They had no way to get out. The rabbit creatures prefer their grass and flowers to ours. With the kids and dogs away, the bunnies and wolpertingers feel no threat at all and have returned.

bunny rabbit wolpertinger

Theory #2:

The pandemic. People are staying inside as much as they can stand this year because of the COVID-19 crisis. As long as there’s nothing wrong with your air quality, getting outside to walk your dog or adventure companion is a great idea. The humans around here haven’t been in their yards any less except during extreme weather. The main notable difference in human activities is that people aren’t leaving their properties to go anywhere unless they have to; and the neighborhood kids haven’t been coming to the trails or backyards as much. We think one of the dogs who actually got taken for walks may have died.

bunny rabbit wolpertinger

Tying into the pandemic is that there’s less pollution since people had been following the quarantine strictly for about a month. Then the humans as a whole seemed to have snapped and lost all tolerance and patience. They don’t want to be inside anymore. There are the usual motorcycles, cars, and commercial trucks now. It was nice that it was only the commercial trucks for a bit, though they are among the most polluting as far as emissions and noise. Less air pollution and noise could have led to better mating seasons for the wolpertingers. They might have had easier access to food and water; and less threats when crossing the roads (the chipmunks and squirrels have been brazenly crossing the busy road even though traffic has resumed).

bunny rabbit wolpertinger

Case Findings:

Our Eastern American Wolpertingers are doing well in 2020. They seem healthy and happier. They are keeping their distance from all of us. They are able to grow to a bigger size than previous years. We hope it continues, but once the neighbors’ house is complete, things might go to hell again for the wildlife. The Council of Rabbits has not been heard from, but Ollie and Gus are staying alert just in case.

Case: Open

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